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Ananya Roy

22 February 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Organized by: MIT Department of Architecture
Venue: MIT, Room 7-429
MIT, 77 Massachusetts Avenue
Long Lounge / Room 7-429
Cambridge, MA 02139

MIT Department of Architecture / Spring 2018 Lecture SeriesOrganized with MIT Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS)


The Trump presidency has brought to sharp light the enduring racial inequalities through which liberal democracy is constituted and lived.  In this talk, I examine imaginations and practices of resistance, from sanctuary cities to professional refusal, against regimes of white nationalism.  But I also place the present historical conjuncture in the broader history of racial capitalism and return to the “freedom dreams” of black reconstruction and the project of abolitionism.  I argue that our disciplines and professions have a role to play in such plans of freedom.

Ananya Roy is Professor of Urban Planning, Social Welfare, and Geography and founding Director of the Institute on Inequality and Democracy at the University of California, Los Angeles where she holds the Renee and Meyer Luskin Chair in Inequality and Democracy.  Previously she was on the faculty at the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley.  Ananya’s research and scholarship has a determined focus on poverty and inequality and lies in four domains: how the urban poor in cities from Kolkata to Chicago face and fight eviction, foreclosure, and displacement; how global financialization, working in varied realms from microfinance to real-estate speculation, creates new markets in debt and risk; how the efforts to manage and govern the problem of poverty reveal the contradictions and limits of liberal democracy; how new programs of welfare and human development are being demanded and made in the global South. Ananya is the author of several books including Poverty Capital: Microfinance and the Making of Development (Routledge, 2010), which received the Paul Davidoff book award from ACSP.  Her most recent book is Encountering Poverty: Thinking and Acting in an Unequal World (UC Press, 2016).  During the last year, Ananya’s public scholarship has challenged white supremacy and white power.  From the short video, “3 Truths About Trumpism,” to the organization of a nationwide day of Teach.Organize.Resist, her work mobilizes the power of knowledge to divest from whiteness.